Art and History

Casentino is a Tuscan valley rich in art and history. Known as the Spiritual Valley due to its numerous monasteries and cloisters, this valley is actually famous for its Medieval castles as well.

Poppi  - Castle of Poppi

The castle of the Guidi family was built in the 13th century. It is characterized by a façade with mullioned windows with two lights and a high tower in the centre of it; the complex is surrounded by walls with Guelph square-topped battlements and a wide moat. Having many similarities with Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, this castle boasts a courtyard adorned by the coats-of-arms of Florentine vicars placed over the unique flight of stairs by Turriani. The Chapel houses frescoes with stories from the Gospel, attributed to Taddeo Gaddi, one of Giotto`s best pupils. The castle contains the Rilliana Historic Library with 70,000 volumes, 600 incunabula and 800 manuscripts.

Romena (Pratovecchio)
The castle of Romena was erected around the year One Thousand; it was the most fortified among the dwellings of the Guidi, having 14 towers ans three enclosing walls. Only the donjon, the poster, the tower of the prison and the castle keep are stil standing. While Dante was staying here during his exile, he found poetic inspiration for the canots of the Divine Comedy. Nor was Gabriele D`Annunziio indifferent to its charm; in fact, it was here that he composed Alcyone, the third book of Le Laudi.

Porciano (Stia)

It is the only example of palace-tower among the castles of Casentino and dates back to the 11h century. Recently restored, it contains, among other things, an interesting collection if peasant tools and equipment dating back to various periods if our rural civilization.

Castel San Niccolo
Together with the Clock Tower, the 11th century Guidi castle dominates the town of Strada. With its elegant architecture, it is surrounded by its evocative Medieval village.

Chitignano
It is located outside the modern town of Chitignano and it houses a prison, a guard-room, the room of judgement and that of weapons

Palagio Fiorentino (Stia)
The castle named "Palagio Fiorentino", rebuilt at the beginning of the 20th century, is now the seat of an important contemporary art gallery.

Castelnuovo (Subbiano)
Castelnuovo castle boasts an impressive square tower overlooking a vast territory. Renaissance elements, restoration and late 19th-century extensions make it differ from the typical castles of Upper Casentino.

Valenzano (Subbiano)
Rebuilt in 1870, it is an evocative construction planned and built in the wake of those "Gothic-style" constructions (or restructuring) characteristic of the English and French culture.
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